Hearing loss can give rise to a number of problems.
- Problems in recognizing speech, especially in noisy listening environments.
- A reduced ability to detect, identify and localize sounds quickly and reliably.
- Problems hearing on the telephone.
- Problems following a conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time.
Individuals with a hearing loss are not always aware of all the consequences of their hearing impairment since they’re often unaware of what they are missing. A study from the National Council on Aging indicated that uncorrected hearing loss can give rise to problems you may not connect to a hearing loss.
- A poorer quality of life, related to isolation and reduced social activities.
- A feeling of being excluded.
- An increased prevalence of symptoms of depression, paranoia and anxiety.
HEARING LOSS AND COGNITION
Several studies also point to a significant correlation between hearing loss and loss of cognitive functions.
- Hearing loss accelerates brain function decline in older adults
- Hearing loss and dementia linked in study
- Hearing loss linked to accelerated brain tissue loss
Most of these studies show such a correlation without being able to show whether the hearing loss caused the reduction in cognitive performance or if both the hearing loss and the cognitive decline are parts of a common, general age-related degeneration.
CAN YOU WAIT TO GET HEARING AIDS?
In general, as with any health problem, the sooner you do something about the problem the better. Hearing aids provide amplified sound to the parts of your brain that interpret the sound into meaning. Hearing loss happens slowly and the person with the loss is often not aware they are having trouble hearing. The problem with a hearing loss is that every day your brain is not getting the correct information. Instead it’s getting less information and your brain has to piece that information together to try to make sense of what’s being said. It can be an exhausting process.
The longer you wait to get hearing aids, the longer it will take your brain to re-learn how to process sounds. It will also take time for your brain to re-learn how to separate the speech from the noise. While you’re waiting to fix the problem you are potentially creating additional problems and more importantly you’re missing out on life.